The Rapp for Aug. 14

RAAC doings

RAAC Theatre’s presentation of “The Real Inspector Hound” is 8 p.m. tomorrow and Saturday (Aug. 15-16) at RAAC Community Theatre (310 Gay St., Washington). A send-up of Agatha Christie-style country-house murder mysteries, the comedy follows two theater critics who are watching a performance of such a mystery. Inadvertently they jump on stage and into the action, becoming involved in the play itself. The play-within-a-play, with its humorous twists and turns, is Tom Stoppard at his finest. The cast features local high school thespians and recent graduates.

Members of RAAC's executive committee in front of the RAAC Community Theatre are (from left) Kevin Adams, Matthew Black, Barbara Wall, Sallie Morgan and Ralph Bates.
Members of RAAC’s executive committee in front of the RAAC Community Theatre are (from left) Kevin Adams, Matthew Black, Barbara Wall, Sallie Morgan and Ralph Bates. Courtesy photo

Tickets are $15. To reserve seats, visit and click on “Community Theatre.” If you do not have internet access, call 800-695-6075.

Meanwhile RAAC itself — the Rappahannock Association for the Arts and the Community — recently elected some new board members, including vice president Barbara Wall and fiscal vice-president Ralph Bates, who join president Matthew Black, secretary Kevin Adams and treasurer Sallie Morgan.

And RAAC’s fall First Friday at the Movies series resumes Sept. 5 with “American Hustle.” All movies — including “The Grand Budapest Hotel” (Oct. 3) and “Chef” (Nov. 7) start at 8 p.m. and cost $6 at the Theatre at Washington (291 Gay St., Washington).

For all things RAAC, including details of the organization’s fall membership party Sept. 28 at Greenfield Farm, visit

Bel Canto auditions

Bel Canto during a June performance.
Bel Canto during a June performance. Courtesy photo

This year, the Bel Canto’s choir’s new director Lauren Estes is holding auditions for new singers from 3 to 5 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 24, and 7 to 9 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 26 at Piedmont Episcopal Church (214 Church St., Madison).

If you love to sing, you should stop by and introduce yourself. The group performs a wide variety of music, from popular and show tunes to classical and sacred music, both a cappella and accompanied. Contact Lauren at for more details.

‘En Plein Air’ opens Saturday

All those painters working outdoors that you might have noticed in Rappahannock over the last couple of months? They were most likely part of a series of “Paint Outs” organized by Sperryville’s River District Arts, the results of which will be on exhibit at RDA starting this Saturday — when there’s also an artists’ reception from 2 to 4 at the gallery at 3 River Lane.

The seasoned professional artists with successful plein air careers, says Jim Allmon, RDA’s art and marketing director, “love the challenges of painting on location (en plein air) since it allows them to capture a moment that is fleeting as conditions are dictated by changes in weather, lighting and seasons.”

Painter Meg West during RDA's recent Paint Out.
Painter Meg West during RDA’s recent Paint Out. Courtesy photo

Paint Out locations included Shenandoah National Park, Flint Hill, Little Washington, Massies Corner, Long View Farm south of Sperryville and Little Washington Winery, and the artists included as part of the exhibit — which runs through Oct. 12 — are Kevin Adams, Trisha Adams, Jill Banks, Corliss Blakely, Ron Boehmer, Gray Dobson, David Heath, Ron Heath, Lynn Mehta, JoEllen Murphy, Amy Varner, Meg Walsh, Meg West and Priscilla Whitlock.

“Many of the artists were painting in Rappahannock County and found it to be treasure trove for bucolic scenery,” Allmon says.

River District Arts is open 11 to 8 Thursday-Friday and 10 to 8 Sunday. Visit for more information.

Knights of the Vine

The renowned Knights of the Vine — there are 20 chapters of the international Brotherhood of the Knights of the Vine in the U.S., including one in Washington, D.C. — will be at Narmada Winery in Amissville at noon this Saturday (Aug. 16) for Narmada’s annual Blessing of the Vines. Come watch the procession of priest and colorfully dressed Knights as they bless Narmada’s vines with incense, holy water and prayer. The blessing is free and open to the public. There’s a private tasting-reception afterwards with the Knights, some of Narmada’s gold-medal-winning wines and light hors d’ouevres ($25 per person, reservations required; call 540-937-8215 or visit

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